Expedition and Mountain

Our Expedition and Mountain Survival Courses in Scotland are designed to give attendees an insight into the planning and preparation stages, along with the safe and successful execution of an expedition both at home and abroad. From weather forecasting, navigation and safe route choice, equipment and clothing to specialist equipment and communications use.

You can book your Expedition Course now with our online booking system, please check course dates for availability. Once you have booked your course you will receive an email confirming the course and payment details. Remember to download the available resources for your course and bring them with you when you start.

We have a range of courses to suit everyone, for more information on our Expedition and Mountain Survival Courses in Scotland please do contact us. We look forward to welcoming you in the 2018 season.

To make sure you choose the right course we have introduced a difficulty rating based on the physical and mental challenges on our courses. This is explained below.

“Courses with this rating are suitable for all. There is a small amount of physical hardship with a small amount of walking.”

“Courses with this rating are suitable for all. There is a reasonable amount of walking and some forms of physical output.”

“Courses with this rating are suitable for 16+. There is a significant amount of physical output, perhaps over a number of days. Time may be spent overnight in poor weather with minimum equipment. A certain amount of mental robustness is needed to complete.”

“Courses with this rating are suitable for 18+. There is significant physical output sometimes over multi-day, and often in Hostile habitats i.e high mountains etc. Equipment/food may be stripped back (if woodland based) or large rucksacks carried (if mountain based). Temperatures may be sub-zero or excessively high. A good level of mental robustness is needed. Special attention should be given to the kit lists available.”

“Courses with this rating are suitable for 18+. There is sustained physical output over multi-days, potentially carrying up to 40lbs, often in high/mountain terrain. Long “hill days” may be necessary, for this reason a good level of fitness is needed. Weather and temperatures are likely to be sub-zero or excessively high. Special attention should be given to kit lists available.”



Navigation- Right Way in a Day £80.00

The Overview for the Navigation- Right Way in a Day includes the following:


Navigation needn’t be over complicated. We’ll teach you “the right way in a day”
















Our navigational days are aimed at those who want to learn to navigate confidently and effectively on the mountains. The majority of wilderness emergency’s in Britain and Europe are due to poor navigation and bad route choice, this course aims to address these points. This 1 day course is suitable for all whether your completely inexperienced or an aspiring Mountain Leader. Being based in Aviemore, Backcountry has quick access to the Cairngorms which contains some of the highest mountains in Britain, and we will get you to the top of one of them, there’s no better place to hone your map and compass work.

Difficulty Rating

The Itinerary for the Navigation- Right Way in a Day includes the following:

• Equipment/clothing talk and rucksack packing demo
• Weather check and interpretation and route planning.
• Navigational equipment coaching, map and compass, GPS
• Timing and pacing
• Bearings
• Security on steep ground

Date Time Spaces Price Book
29 March 2018 09:00 - 17:00 3 £80 Book Now
6 May 2018 09:30 - 17:00 6 £80 Book Now
29 March 2019 09:00 - 17:00 7 £80 Book Now
5 May 2019 09:30 - 17:00 9 £80 Book Now

Please download these resources for your information

Lairig Ghru Trek £280

The Overview for the Lairig Ghru Trek includes the following:


By far the most famous mountain pass in Scotland.  The mighty Lairig Ghru is one of the classic treks in the whole of Britain. due to its highest point 835 meters and it’s length 30 miles through wilderness terrain, it is considered to be no small undertaking. The journey itself starts near Aviemore on the northern side of the National Park and cuts through some of the highest mountains in Britain (Ben MacDhui, Braeriach, Cairn Toul, Angels peak) to finish in the rolling foot hills of Braemar in Royal Deeside.


The Trek is done over 3 Days to make the most of your time with us and allow you to soak up as much of the scenery as possible. There is ample opportunities to tick off a few of the Munro’s along the way for those who decide to, or get some wild swimming done, in some pretty amazing pools.


This course is designed to be an enjoyable and educational trip, with wild camping in ancient pine forests and rugged mountain scenery.  The trip will focus on correct Equipment, Planning, Navigation and Bushcraft skills such as fire-lighting. Ideal for families, groups and individuals that may be worried about their hill fitness, as well as individuals interested in learning basic exped skills and map and compass work.


Please note: We will be providing Fjallraven tents along with stoves and fuel for this trip.

Difficulty Rating:

The Itinerary for the Lairig Ghru Trek includes the following:

Day 1


Meet and Greet

Route Planning

Bag packing demos

Navigation training.

Wild camp in Rothiemurcus Pine forest

Evening activities – Bushcraft

Day 2


Enter the Lairig Ghru proper, reaching a height of 835 meters.

Navigation training

Set up camp within the pass.

Evening Activities – Munro/wild swimming

Day 3


Navigation, timings, pacing and bearings


Finish at Royal Deeside



Date Time Spaces Price Book
10 May 2019 09:00 - 17:00 8 £280 Book Now
20 September 2019 09:00 - 17:00 6 £280 Book Now

Please download these resources for your information

Island Survival £310

The Overview for the Island Survival includes the following:

Fishing the deepest stretch of the Loch for Brown Trout

Left on an island in the middle of a Highlands Loch, would you survive? This course takes place on a private Island on the West Coast of Scotland and It’s got it all, from miles of open water to paddle, mountains and seclusion.  Once you’ve made your way to the island you will be expected to Protect yourself from the elements, set up a Location Action Plan, find and treat water to drink and catch your own food! A truly memorable experience.

This course is open to individuals over the age of 16.  For group booking discounts please get in contact.

The Itinerary for the Island Survival includes the following:


Meet and Greet

Equipment checks

Canadian Canoe Set-up

Paddle Coaching

Improvised Shelter as well as Tarp set-ups

Fire Lighting techniques

DAY 2 

Acquisition – Water safety.

Acquisition – Food. Hobo lines and other fishing techniques from bank and boat.

Day 3 

Group exercise

Improvised Coracle/Bush-boat/Conveyance

Date Time Spaces Price Book
11 October 2019 09:30 - 16:00 12 £310 Book Now
17 April 2020 09:30 - 16:00 12 £310 Book Now

Please download these resources for your information

Three Day Mountain Exped Skills – Cairngorm 4000’s £360.00

The Overview for the Three Day Mountain Exped Skills – Cairngorm 4000’s includes the following:

The first of two wild camp @ 1100 meters in Coire Domhain. One of Britain’s true wilderness spots


This course is designed to equip attendees with the skills and knowledge to be able to carry out their own multi-day trips in mountainous regions. The secondary aim is to climb 4 of the 9 4000 foot mountains, and ascend 5 of the 6 highest mountains in Britain.

This course is ideal for anyone who is just getting into hill walking/mountaineering, or the experienced hill walker that wants to expand their knowledge of wild camping and safety aspects.



The course is run in the Cairngorms National Park, in the highlands of Scotland. The Cairngorms National Park is the largest in Europe and is home to 5 of the 6 highest mountains in Britain. The Cairngorms is the highest, coldest and snowiest plateau in the British Isles, closely mimicking an Arctic tundra.


Skills Covered

Weather forecasting and interpretation

Mountain Weather information Service, Met Office and Synoptic chart interpretation

Equipment and kit needed for multi-day trips in the mountains
Packing for an expedition, rucksack packing demo, gas/fuel stove demonstrations, survival equipment and clothing/sleeping systems

Safe Route choice and planning

Naismith’s rule, timings and contour appreciation.

Navigational skills, map and compass as well as GPS

Orientating map to the ground, taking bearings, timing and pacing, contour appreciation. Introduction to GPS, and when it’s appropriate to use.

Tent choice and wild camping

Tunnel vs Dome vs Geodesic tents, when to us and why. Picking a wild camping pitch in an upland environment. pitching and tips.

Expedition food and nutrition/water safety

Sedimentation, filtration and purification of water in an upland environment. Man-made filter on the market.


Due to the number of mountains climbed (7), over all distance, weight carried and height gain, individuals must have a good level of fitness. If you have any questions regarding fitness levels please contact us before booking on this course.

Difficulty Rating

The Itinerary for the Three Day Mountain Exped Skills – Cairngorm 4000’s includes the following:


Itinerary will vary according to weather conditions and group ability. The following is a rough outline.

Day 1

• Meet and greet, as per joining instructions
• Weather forecasting, different resources to be used. Introduction to Synoptic charts.
• Kit check and equipment talk
• How to pack a bag for an expedition in the Mountains
• Depart from Cairngorm Mountain Car Park and Ascend Cairngorm (1245m)
• Wild camp on the Plateau above 1000 meters

Day 2

• Ascend Ben Macdhui (1309 metres and Britains second highest peak)
• Ascend Carn a Mhaim
• Wild camp in the Lairig Ghru

Day 3

• Ascend Devils peak, Cairn Toul, Angels Peak and Braeriach.
• End Ex


Date Time Spaces Price Book
24 August 2018 09:00 - 17:00 12 £310 Book Now
23 August 2019 09:00 - 17:00 5 £310 Book Now

Please download these resources for your information

Borneo Trip 2018 £1500.00

The Overview for the Borneo Trip 2018 includes the following:

Due to the demanding nature of this course we do not take online bookings and would prefer any enquiries to be directed straight to us for discussion and assessment of ability.

Our flagship course for 2018. Borneo is the 3rd largest Island on the Planet and is home to many endemic species of Flora and fauna including the Bornean Orungutan, East Sumatran Rhinoceros and the Bornean clouded leopard to name but a few. It is also home to the feared Dayak people or “head hunters”.

The weather experienced in February at the North of the Island can range from a cool evening temperature of 22ºC to a sweltering 28 – 34 ºC during the day, with humidity reaching upwards of 90%.

This course is designed to give participants a survival grounding in a Jungle environment, with the majority of time being spent within the Rainforest under the watchful eye of Survival Instructors (SIA) as well as training from local guides. As with all BCS courses the Borneo expedition is designed to be multi-environment and will take place in Primary jungle as well as in Mountainous regions.

The last two days of the Course will retrace the final two days of the Sandakan – Ranau death march. This was a forced march over a distance of 250 kilometers from the POW camp at Sandakan to the small village of Ranau and was carried out by around 1000 Allied soldiers captured after the fall of Singapore (some 1787 Australian and 641 British soldiers were interned at Sandakan). Out of a total of 2434 POW only 6 Australians managed to escape.

Due to the climate and strenuousness of this course participants must be in good physical condition to make the most of their time with us.

Difficulty Rating



The deposit for this course is £400, please do not make any flight/travel plans until you have confirmation from us that your place is secured. 

The Itinerary for the Borneo Trip 2018 includes the following:


Day 1

Flight into Sabah (not included in price)

Meet and Greet

Depart for Jungle base camp

Day 2, 3 and 4

Basics of Jungle training and Survival (Primary Jungle)

Jungle clothing systems and material choice

Jungle survival equipment and safe tool training

Protection within a jungle environment – Shelter and Fire. Hammocks, survival shelters. Jungle specific tinder and fuel sourcing. Jungle specific ignition sourcing including friction fire.

Acquisition of water within a tropical environment – Safe water sourcing, improvised/off the shelf filtration systems, water purification (chemical and pasturisation)

Acquisition of food within a tropical environment – Plant/Tree I.D. Jungle specific traps and triggers.

Day 5

Rest and recuperation

Day 6 & 7

Mountainous training – Including summit.

Day 1

Navigation and safe travel techniques

Overnight camp

Day 2

Summit day and descent.

Day 8

Rest and recuperation

Day 9 & 10

Final two days of Sandakan – Ranau death march.

Return to Sabah for flights.

Course Cost : £1500
• includes transport and pick-up/drop-off.
• Instruction and specialist equipment
• Food for duration

Vaccinations: For advice visit your Doctor


No Course Dates

Please contact us for more Information on availability.

Please download these resources for your information